Channel migrants to be sent to Rwanda

Ministers are also expected to announce the first purpose-built Greek-style reception centre in England, where migrants will have to obey strict rules or lose their rights to claim asylum.

The centre, on a former RAF base, will be modelled on camps for asylum seekers being built by Greece, where migrants face routine checks on their movements and curfews to prevent absconding.

Councils will also be given extra money to disperse asylum seekers as the Government tries to move away from housing them in hotels.

Announcing the plans, Mr Johnson will say: “Before Christmas, 27 people drowned – and in the weeks ahead, there may be many more losing their lives at sea and whose bodies may never be recovered. 

“I accept that these people – whether 600 or 1,000 – are in search of a better life, the opportunities that the United Kingdom provides and the hope of a fresh start. But it is these hopes, these dreams, that have been exploited.”

The announcement comes after Mr Johnson appointed David Canzini, a combative election strategist, in February in the wake of damaging revelations about parties in Downing Street. 

Home Office officials are understood to be braced for a major backlash to the plans, but will insist the UK will be better able to support those fleeing genuine persecution by deterring illegal entry.

Britain and other European countries have previously been accused of “double standards” over the treatment of Ukrainian refugees compared with those from the Middle East.

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